Babies are so cute but so heavy.
Classic problem, with seemingly two bad outcomes. Either you pick up the tiny 20 pound human and hurt your back or not pick the baby up at all (a solution that has mothers everywhere in outrage).
See the thing about picking up children is that, at first, they’re super light and even easy to throw up into the air (again, not a suggestion) until one day, much to your surprise, they’re not easy to pick up at all. It’s the same phenomena as a frog in a pot of water. If you gradually increase the heat under the pot of water, the frog won’t notice the temperature change until it’s too late to jump out and he’s boiled alive. As the baby grows every day, you don’t notice the normal, gradual increase in weight gain because you lift them regularly. That is, until one day, when they asked to be carried through the grocery store and, as you begin to lift the now 40-pound squirmy mini-man, you throw your back out.
So how do you prevent this from happening? We’re glad you asked!
Use Your Knees
Lift with your knees and save your back! If you’re not sure how best to do that, read our blog about how to properly lift and move heavy objects without hurting yourself.
Stretch It Out
Exercise and flexibility are important when it comes to regularly lifting heavy objects. We can’t stress enough how important stretching your muscles are even if you aren’t working out in the traditional sense. Because really, you’re lifting an average of 17 pounds up and down at least 40 times a day, which is exercise in and of itself. You know who also should be stretching daily to keep their growing body healthy? You guessed it! Tiny children, even babies! A great way to start the day with flexibility is to do baby yoga, a form of yoga modified for you and your baby.
Think about a mother holding her toddler. You can probably see in your mind’s eye a woman with a small child hiked up on her hip with her posture angled in a slight, sideways “v” shape to compensate for the extra 30 pounds on her right side. This is the worst way to hold your child for your back. Instead, you should look for a front baby carrier to help distribute the weight more evenly across your body, plus then you have both hands free! For smaller babies, a comfortable way to hold them for both you and Baby is to straddle them across your forearm. With their tiny face in the crook of your arm, lay them belly down on the inside of your forearm and hold the thigh closest to you with your hand. This allows you to cradle them with full support, a new position for the baby, and distributes the weight evenly across your hips while you hold your baby close.
It can be difficult (understandably so) to admit that breastfeeding your baby is causing you any type of pain. We’d like to remind mothers however that unfortunately, our bodies don’t always behave the way that we’d like them to, through no fault of our own. Do your best to breastfeed sitting down and using pillows to lift the baby to you, instead of hunching over to reach the baby. It’s a little action that should help to relieve some of your pain.
If you somehow forget all of this information, here’s the most important thing to remember, “don’t bend for the baby!” Instead, save your back, and squat down to use your thighs. Plus, then you can be eye-level with the child instead of hovering over them — a painful position for you and a threatening position to them.
Luckily, Prospect Family Chiropractic Center is here to help! Our team here is dedicated to helping our parents, nannies, siblings, babysitters, and anyone regularly carrying small humans find peace and relief in their body through chiropractic treatment. We even offer massages for women currently with child, because an extra seven pounds on top of your bladder for almost a year will definitely alter your posture and cause your back to ache. Schedule an appointment to begin treatment that benefit you and your baby over the course of time.